December 7th, 2020 by Tad Nelson in Traffic Offenses
Having a traffic violation on your record can affect your insurance rates and even result in the suspension of your driver’s license, so if you were recently cited with aggressive driving or received another type of traffic violation, it is important to speak with an experienced traffic violations lawyer in Houston, Galveston or League City who can work with you to clear your record.
What Qualifies as Aggressive Driving?
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines aggressive driving as operating a vehicle in a way that endangers people or property. This definition includes a wide range of behavior, including:
- Following too closely;
- Changing lanes improperly;
- Failing to obey traffic control devices like stop signs and traffic lights;
- Weaving in and out of traffic;
- Failing to yield at an intersection;
- Cutting drivers off;
- Passing improperly; and
- Exceeding the posted speed limit.
In Texas, drivers who are cited for aggressive driving could be fined up to $200 for each violation and could even end up spending time in jail. It is also not uncommon for insurance companies to raise the rates of drivers who are cited with multiple moving violations.
What are My Options?
Whether or not a person plans to admit guilt to a traffic violation, he or she will need to show up to a court hearing. However, prior to or the date of this appearance, a driver must enter a plea, either in person, or by mailing the citation to the court. At this time, drivers who have been cited for driving aggressively or have been accused of committing another traffic violation can avoid harsh penalties by taking one of two routes, the first of which is to sign up for and complete a driving safety course. This, however, is only available to those who:
- Have not completed a driving safety course in the last year;
- Were not going more than 24 miles per hour over the speed limit;
- Are at least 17 years old;
- Hold a standard (non-commercial) driver’s license; and
- Can present proof of insurance.
Drivers can also often avoid adding a traffic violation to their records by engaging in the Deferred Adjudication process, which requires that drivers either plead guilty or no contest to their charges and then complete probation. As long as they don’t violate the terms of probation, the court will discharge the driver and dismiss the offense without a finding of guilt. Those who are eligible for one of these programs and whose offenses are dismissed can seek an expungement of their record at a later date.
It’s important to note that there are a few specific offenses for which driving safety courses and Deferred Adjudication are not available, so if you have questions about whether either of these options are available to you, please call our office today.
Call Today for Help with Your Case
For help clearing your own driving record, please call 281-962-7817 to speak with one of the experienced Houston traffic violations lawyers at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates. Initial consultations are offered free of charge, so don’t hesitate to call or contact us online today for help.